Archive for December, 2006

Apple MacBook Core 2 Duo (C2D) review

Thursday, December 21st, 2006

Since I was quite unimpressed by the Apple MacBook version 1 I got rid of it on eBay rather sooner than later.

In former times I bought PowerPC based Macs just for the hardware quality and run them with Linux-only. But with the MacBook revision 1 the quality reached a point where I rather would have bought any non-Apple laptop if there would be any reasonable. Unfortunatly the ordenary PC market does not yield an amazing quality either and among the vast amount of Linux related Open Source project my companies is involved in, we now have two Mac OS X products leaving me no choice but bite into the sour apple …

As the look of the device did not change at all the pros are quickly counted:

  • even faster
  • finally a 64 bit CPU as it is suppost to be in this millenium
  • appears not as hot and noisy as the MacBook v1

However nearly the same cons are counted up quickly as well:

  • still the same bad TFT
  • still high-pitch whining under low load when the CPU cores take a nap
  • still touchpad with low pressure point
  • still strange case finish / material visualizing every touch with detailed fingerprints
  • still the sharp edge border of the top case that cut’s into your wrist (c’mon Apple, even my years old iBook has a round top-case border!!!)

All in all not the worst choice compared to the even more depressing PC market, but definetly not the kind of hardware quality Apple once stood for.

Note: Apple updated the Atheros WIFI chipset to a flavour no Linux driver is available for, yet.

Update: The MADWifi project has a “alpha” driver for this Atheros chipset, now. However only unencrypted networks work so far.

Who designes this crap? This millenium’s Laptops

Sunday, December 3rd, 2006

In the past I happily choose Apple Laptops such as the legendary, black G3 PowerBook’s or the pleasant G3 iBooks (those with the transparent inside-white plastic) even for use with Linux instead of Apples OS - but nowadays after the disappointing MacBook experience I wonder what Laptop^W err Notebook one can even purchase.

Right, Notebook as Apple itself officially stats that their recent Notebooks are not for peoples laps … (huh?) :-(

And the rest of the PC market? Well, I read a lot reviews over the last days and I found not a single laptop I would invest into. Every el-cheapo PC noebook does usually just look pure ugly, with plastic nobs and holes and un-stylish forms all over the place and or has other major drawbacks (such as few connectors, a 32bit CPU and the like) or is big and clumpy.

The only devices I barely would consider are the aging Sharp Actius MM20 or the IBM^W Lenovo Thinkpad X60. But they have the drawback of a 32bit CPU and the later requires an expensive add-on docking station (I even consider the lack of an optional drive a pro - I barely need it and connecting one in the rare case is quite ok - especially when it saves me from carrying the unused drive with me all the time - but an $$$ docking station just for the DVI output?).

Well - poor PC market; I guess I end up with a Core 2 Duo MacBook (I do not like the PowerBook / MacBook Pro speaker design and their keyboards …) although I already heart in a store that is has the sime high frequency noise when idling and the same sharp top border design bug that I really wonder how Apple could let slip into production. At least it should have less “Kinderkrankheiten” and at comes with a 64bit CPU - if just the silly DC-DC converter whining would have been fixed - sigh.

Also this is a major drawback of Apple’s Mac platform: When you do not exactly love the current hardware they have for sale you are out of luck. No IBM X60 to escape too - well - at least not legally …

Good that despite one Mac product I’m in the Linux business and can choose any CPU and plastic combination I want too … (just too bad the other PC manufacturers sleep that much).